Whether it’s personal healthcare decisions that were once up to you and your doctor, food choices for your children’s schools that have now been scrutinized by Michelle Obama or decisions regarding hiring and benefits for your business, the Democrat party has decided that they know what is best. Their latest exertion is a push to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 and of course paint all who oppose the idea as being against the American worker.
The truth is, there are plenty of good reasons to oppose a minimum wage hike, none of which have to do with being against the American worker; quite the contrary.
“Why not support increasing the minimum wage? Because it will make it more expensive for businesses to hire young and low-skill workers at a time of crisis-level unemployment. Because it will not alleviate poverty. Because there are much better alternatives to help poor families, and because the minimum wage is a dishonest approach that hides the true cost of the policy.”
I think that pretty much sums it up. It’s actually not that hard to understand. Heck, even our RINO friend John Boehner gets it: “When you raise the price of employment, guess what happens? You get less of it.”
If it’s bad for the economy and would ultimately hurt low paid workers, why do the Democrats continue to push for this? Carolyn Fiddler, a Democratic strategist at the Atlas Project explains, “Having minimum wage measures on the ballot in certain states next year may prove electorally beneficial to Democrats…It certainly seems to poll well generally.”
So to put it simply, this isn’t about caring for people or fighting for the poor, or the working man. It’s about politics and voter turnout.
After 5 years of failure to increase the labor participation rate and produce strong economic growth, coupled with the “Affordable” Care Act rollout debacle, Democrats are so desperate to change the subject. So now “income inequality” has become the defining issue of our time and increasing the minimum wage is the vehicle to solve the problem.
It may not be the most “politically correct” thing to say, but let’s face it; a large portion of the Democrat party’s base loves economic, feel-good “gimmes.” The Democrats know it’s true and that’s exactly what this push for minimum wage increase is. The Democrats aren’t particularly worried about the long term effects of a minimum wage hike, what it could mean for businesses, future hiring or even their own voting constituency’s jobs. They are living in the now and want to offer voters “stuff.” Remember, this is the party who fought for free birth control; something that can be bought for less than $10 at Walmart.
While the Democrats bust out their trusty old carrot-on-a-stick and dangle in front of voters in order to get them to the polls, Republicans should rebut by talking about the real reason income inequality exists. It’s called capitalism, and the inequality that results from that is actually a good thing.
Basic economics teaches that instead of trying to manipulate a price, we must try to understand what the price is telling us about relationship of supply and demand in the marketplace. The price of unskilled labor in this country is low and unfortunately has not increased in years. That means that the supply of unskilled labor exceeds demand – substantially.
The answer truly lies, not in price manipulation or arbitrarily inflating pay, but in trying to increase the skill level American workers while simultaneously increasing demand. We know that minimum wage do nothing to increase skill levels. We know that, if anything, they decrease demand for labor.
Instead of falling into the left’s narrative about income inequality, how about we debate the inequality of work ethic, responsibility, resourcefulness, courage, decision making, accountability, determination, effort, communication, attitude, performance, and negotiating skills. Clearly, Americans that present these behaviors most positively get ahead of those that choose to simply extend their entitled hand and say, “I deserve something because you have it too.”
This whole effort needs to be called out for what it is: a purely political move that seeks to put a band aid on Obama’s economy, all while distracting the American people from the many failures of the party, this administration’s failures and arguably the most notable failure to date, Obamacare.